India at Tokyo 2020: 10 events to watch out for!

Tokyo Olympics is just few days away. The excitement among sports fans is reaching a crescendo. Let us have a look at 10 key events from an Indian stand point. These are the 10 events which you cannot afford to miss at the Tokyo Olympics.

  1. 10m Air Pistol Mixed Event: To give you a context on why this event is the one to watch out for, just look at India’s performance in this event at last 7 major tournaments:
EventIndia’s performance
2018 World ChampionshipBronze
2019 New Delhi World CupGold
2019 Beijing World CupGold
2019 Munich World CupGold
2019 Rio World CupGold & Silver
2021 New Delhi World CupGold & Bronze
2021 Croatia World CupSilver

India pistol shooters (Manu, Saurabh, Abhishek & Yashaswini) have dominated this event on the International stage in past 2 years. Hence, this event is a huge watch out for Indian fans at Tokyo Olympics.

Event Date: 27th July

ISSF World Cup: Manu Bhaker-Saurabh Chaudhary defeat Yashaswini Deswai- Abhishek Verma in 10m Air Pistol mixed team event

2. Women’s Weightlifting – 49 kg category: Mirabai Chanu will represent India in the 49 kg category. She is the only Indian weightlifter who has qualified for Olympics this time around. Out of all the entries in this weight category, only Chinese Hou Zhihui has lifted more than Mirabai in the recent past. Mirabai is also the current World record holder in Clean & Jerk. This makes her a huge medal prospect.

Event Date: 24th July

CWG 2018: Meet Mirabai Chanu, winner of India's first gold at Gold Coast |  Business Standard News

3. Men’s Javelin Throw: India has had a long history of missing an Olympic medal in athletics by a whisker. This time around the onus of getting India’s first medal in athletics lies on Neeraj Chopra’s shoulders. Neeraj is going to compete in Men’s Javelin throw. In 2021, only 3 athletes have thrown more than Neeraj. He is a contender going into this event. It is going to be an exciting fight for medals in this event.

Event Date: 4th & 7th August.

Neeraj Chopra third in Kuortane Games, Olympic favourite Johannes Vetter  first | Sports News,The Indian Express

4. Men’s Boxing (52kg): Amit Panghal is entering Tokyo Olympics as the No. 1 seed in his category. He is one of the firm favorites to win a medal. Amit is also the current reigning Asian Champion & World Championship Silver medalist.

Event Date: 24th July – 5th August

Boxing World Cup: Amit Panghal wins gold after getting walkover in final,  Satish Kumar bags silver at Cologne - Sports News

5. Women’s Wrestling (53 kg): After the injury heartbreak in the Quarter-Finals of Rio Olympics, Vinesh Phogat is back for another shot at an Olympics medal. Vinesh is the top seed at Tokyo Olympics in her weight category. She will face tough competition from local favorite and Vinesh’s arch rival Mayu Mukaida. All eyes on the wrestling mat for this event on 5th & 6th August.

Vinesh Phogat (@Phogat_Vinesh) | Twitter

6. Women’s Singles – Badminton: PV Sindhu has won World Championship as well as the World Tour Final. The one big medal missing from her cabinet is the Olympic Gold. She just fell short at Rio Olympics. The Silver medalist from last Olympics will look to go one better at Tokyo. Her recent form has not been her absolute best, but PV Sindhu at a major tournament is a different player. So, here’s hoping she plays the Olympics with all guns blazing.

Event Date: 24th July – 1st August

Badminton: As India celebrates PV Sindhu's win at BWF tournament, it must  build a strong second too

7. Hockey – Men’s Tournament: It is next to impossible to talk about Olympics in India and not have a mention of Hockey. The wait for a medal in Hockey now stands at 41 years. The Indian Men’s team will once again go into Olympics with a billions hope pinned on them. They are currently the No. 4 ranked team in the World. Last year the team notched up some good performances in the FIH Pro League. But there has been a long break in competition due to COVID. Hoping for the best!

Event Date: 24th July – 5th August

Hockey India: Indian men's hockey team could have ended 'camp life' with  Australia or New Zealand tour: Ric Charlesworth | Hockey News - Times of  India

8. Mixed Recurve Event – Archery: Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari have won a medal in each of the 2 World Cups they participated in this year. The pair has been in good form off late. At the Olympics, the Koreans and Chinese will be back and competition will be much tighter than the recent World Cups. Hope this pair is able to replicate current form at the Olympics as well.

Event Date: 24th July

Atanu Das, Deepika Kumari help India to three golds at Archery World Cup

9. Men’s Freestyle Wrestling – 65 kg: The 3 time World Championship medalist Bajrang Punia will be looking for his 1st Olympic medal at Tokyo Olympics. He is the 2nd seed at Tokyo Olympics in his weight category. The draw in the 65 kg category is a very competitive one with Japanese Otoguro, Russian Rashidov and Uzbek wrestler Niyazbekov.

Event Date: 6th & 7th August

Bajrang Punia strikes first gold for India; wrestler's profile, stats,  record

10. 10m Air Rifle Mixed Event: This is another shooting event where the 2 Indian pairs have done well over the last 2 years. Out of the last 7 major tournaments, Indian pair has won a medal at 5. So, a lot is again expected out of this event.

Event Date: 27th July

Some other events which fans can definitely look forward to are: Women’s 51 kg boxing (Mary Kom), 10m Air Pistol & 10m Air Rifle Individual events (both Men & Women), Fencing – Women’s Sabre Individual (Bhavani Devi is 1st Indian fencer ever to qualify for Olympics), Men’s Freestyle 86 kg (Ravi Dahiya), 25m Pistol Women (Manu & Rahi).

If you are looking for the full schedule of Team India at Tokyo Olympics, here it is.

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